Dates of Operation: 1941 - 1970s
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
I have to admit to some confusion concerning Los Angeles Potteries for a number of reasons. The first is that there seems to be an unrelated modern company called Los Angeles POTTERY Inc. that was created in 1992 and is still producing pottery today. I’m not saying that the product from that company isn’t nice (in fact, it is considered high end pottery and retails at places like Saks Fifth, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s). But I think it is important to distinguish between the two, especially since some of the markings looks similar at times.
The second reason I think there may be confusion is that toward the end of their existence, Los Angeles Potteries leased or sold some of their molds to the N.S. Gustin company who then contracted them out to be produced to another company. This is according to Chipman’s Scrapbook and it seems to be verified by some of the Ebay listings. So, you may have pieces that don’t have the Los Angeles Potteries mark on the bottom.
[Update 08/2008: I’m not 100% sure the two companies are unrelated. I’ve been thinking about it and I wonder if perhaps the modern company bought the master molds for some of the pieces, either from Los Angeles Potteries or from N.S. Gustin. If anyone has any information on this, I’d really like to know.]
Los Angeles Potteries was most likely started around 1941 by Dale C. Kennedy in the city of Lynwood. Today, that location is right where the 105 Fwy crosses Alameda. They made a huge amount of different types of dinnerware, decorative bowls, vases, wall pockets, gift items and cookie jars. The earlier work is interesting - I think it looks like Haldeman sometimes, especially the low bowls, but with different colors instead of a single matte glaze.
For the later items, you will most commonly find cookie jars, chip and dip plates, dinnerware and accessories that was produced in the late 60s to early 70s. Like a lot of struggling California potteries, cookie jars and other items helped them survive later than some of their fellow companies. I’m not such a huge fan of some of this later work they did - it tends toward olive green, burnt yellow and brown items with handpainted fruit decorations. Interestingly, they were one of the last potteries to continue to handpaint their items even into the late 60s. The dinnerware and chip and dip plates seem quite plentiful, especially around Southern California thrifts.
As said before, the pieces are marked very frequently with “Los Angeles Potteries” or “L.A. Potteries”. I’ve seen some of the items marked with a N.S. Gustin sticker as well - I would guess those are from the molds that they sold to N.S. Gustin.
Many items are actually marked with the copyright date. The plates I have are 1967. While it doesn’t tell you when the piece was actually made, it’s rather nice to know how far back it was produced.
Another interesting thing: I’ve sometimes seen misspellings, similar to my experience with Covina Pottery. I’m still not sure what is going on with that. In one case the word “Angeles” was spelled “Angles”. In another I saw, “Potteries” was spelled “Potterry”. Very strange.
[Update 08/2009: A nice reader pointed us to an article about “Los Angeles Pottery.” It was actually bought in 1992 by Laurie Gates when he was the manager of the company. It’s previous name was Designcraft. I’ve seen references to Laurie Gates before when it comes to Los Angeles Pottery, so this doesn’t surprise me. Here is the full article in the LA Times in case you want to read about it. So, I’m assuming this definitely means that the older Los Angeles Potteries was a different company.]Note: We've tried to provide as much info as possible on this pottery maker or artist. For further info, you may want to research the items they have on Ebay listed under this name. We've tried to hand tailor the searches below so they will bring up the most accurate results. If there are no results, it will list general California pottery.